Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publication Date: December 2012 (2011)
Format: PaperbackSource: Review Copy from Publisher
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life.... (Goodreads Synopsis)
This book was a real delight to read. The story is fun, original and entrancing, and it kept me entertained from start to finish. It was refreshing as I didn't feel like it was something I had seen a hundred times before.
Avry is an excellent heroine, at times vulnerable and at times feisty and daring. Her character definitely grows through the novel and I mostly enjoyed her interactions with Kerrick, even though that did follow an established YA pattern.
Snyder's prose is easy to read and yet wonderfully descriptive and evocative: not a single word is wasted. She writes with assurance, setting a good pace that is maintained throughout the book.
I finished this book with a certain sadness, but luckily I was able to move straight on to book two. I am enjoying that so far and you can expect a review of that one soon.
I'd like to thank Harlequin for the review copies of books one and two.